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Alison Bell

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Zibby Payne & the Party Problem
by Alison Bell   

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Books by Alison Bell
· Zibby Payne & the Trio Trouble
· Zibby Payne & the Red Carpet Revolt
· Zibby Payne & The Wonderful, Terrible Tomboy Experiment
· Zibby Payne & the Drama Trauma
                >> View all



Publisher:  Lobster Press ISBN-10:  1897073690 Type: 


Copyright:  May 15, 2008 ISBN-13:  9781897073698

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(ages 8 - 10) Everyone's favorite Total Tomboy is back, with more over-the-top plans to save the day! Zibby can't believe her "friends" Amber and Savannah are turning their birthday bashes into exclusive events by handing out special party privileges to a select few. Always one to express her opinion — loud and clear — Zibby protests by having her own shindig...

Professional Reviews

Courtesy of Teens Read Too
Zibby Payne has been invited to a lot of parties lately, and she's noticed a significant problem: someone always gets left out. Whether it's a coupon for a "Special Party Prize for Special Friends," or secret sleepovers because only so many girls are allowed, Zibby is tired of the inequality, and makes up her mind to throw The Most Inclusive Party on the Planet.

"A party for all, and all for the party!"

But even when Zibby thinks that she gets everyone on the invite list, she realizes that she's still not living up to her own declaration. Guilt persuades her to invite Vanessa and Franny, the two class losers. And what about the boys? Zibby can't leave out her soccer friends, can she? Suddenly, the guest list leaps from 24 to 34, and Vanessa and Franny are so intent on helping plan the party that they just might ruin everything. Will this party idea turn out to be Zibby's Worst Idea Ever?

Of the Zibby books, I found this one to be my favorite. Zibby's insistence on equality and inclusion for all is refreshing in an age where most social groups are anything but equal and inclusive. The problems she encounters by trying to break the unspoken social taboos of her circle are real, as are the solutions that arise. Very nicely done!

A fun read with a lesson
My daughter and I just finished this book. She started reading Zibby books several years ago when she was younger - but still enjoys following Zib's exploits now that she's 13.

The story deals with competitive pressures that young girls sometimes face with their friends, but treats the situations with humor and perspective. The lesson Zibby learns at the end to live and let live is an important one for kids to keep in mind. It's a fun book that gives girls something to think about in their own relationships.

Party Central
Three parties factor into Zibby Payne and the Party Problem, the third book in the delightful Zibby Payne series.

First, popular Amber invites many of the girls in their class to her exclusive party. She has a history of throwing the biggest, coolest bashes around. This time around, some of her invitations include a "special coupon" redeemable for a secret prize. The girls who don't get invited at all feel left out, and those who get invitations without coupons wonder why Amber included them at all if she doesn't think they are cool enough to get the bonus surprise. Zibby thinks Amber's being unfair, and she wants to boycott the party.

Shortly after Amber's event comes Savannah's roller skating party and sleepover. Zibby is excited to go. She thinks that Savannnah's a lot more friendly than Amber. But when the skating is done and it's time to go to Savannah's house, Zibby finds out that her best friend Sarah wasn't invited to the sleepover. It turns out that the party girl's mom permitted her to invite twelve girls to the rink, but only six back to their house. Upset that people are being left out again, Zibby turns down the sleepover and leaves with Sarah instead.

Zibby decides to have her own party. Determined to have "the most inclusive party on the planet," she makes a lengthy guest list naming "everyone [she's] friends with, sometimes friends with, used-to-be friends with, and want-to-be friends with." The guest list grows as she adds the boys she plays soccer with and two girls she thinks are kind of weird but doesn't want to leave out. After she "accidentally dis-invites" those girls and her well-intentioned plans go awry, she has to eat some humble pie before the party's over.

Zibby would be fast friends with Ramona Quimby. I highly recommend this series for kids in elementary school and just beginning middle school. Alison Bell has captured the ups and downs and dramas of tweendom while preserving the innocence of that age.

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